Dogs That Changed the World

Watched this last night on the Eden channel – don’t know how I managed to miss it for so long, but somehow I did.

If you haven’t seen it yet – it’s not just one of the best dog documentaries, it’s one of THE best documentaries. It’s amazing…

Dogs That Changed the World.

Part I aired last night. And some of the things I took away from it:

1) The Inuit dogs are the hardest animals on the planet, bar none.

Absolutely none. No other animal comes close.

These dogs physically stood up to and repelled Polar Bears – you actually see them do it, individually as well – not as pack.

The Polar Bear’s like "Erm, no thanks. Don’t want any of that".

Secondly, and this is one of those things you sort of know but probably don’t appreciate until you see it, their puppies are born directly on to the ice.

The one thing I know from dog breeding is that cold kills puppies like nothing else. Yet these pups are just born straight on to ice. A fair few die, so the ones who survive are hard as nails.

The Inuit people literally could not survive without those dogs and the film crew said it was only when they felt truly isolated, filming in the Arctic that they got a perspective of how important the dogs are. When you are relying on a four-legged thing for your very life and survival….man’s best friend indeed.

2) Only a dog can herd cattle.

Again, I sort of knew this, it’s stating the bleedin’ obvious in many ways, but always had in my mind that even without dogs we’d come up with some way to herd sheep.

Wrong. Impossible. Think about it. What, other than a dog, can swim a river on a rocky hillside and pull together and direct a flock of sheep exactly where a farmer needs them to be? A) Nothing. Not even today. And the more salient point made in the documentary was, had we not had dogs to be able to do this, the way we farm – our entire culture – would be dramatically different.

Take a look at what the sheepdog in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0DQm3sVgVc

The second part is airing soon and will touch on what we’ve allowed dogs to become, what the Victorians started to do to them, how their behaviour (or lack of understanding it) has changed and how/why so many dogs are just abandoned.

I’m not a cryer, but when you look at the 15,000 years of service this species has given us, there IS cause for shame in where we are today and absolutely nobody will tell me differently.

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